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Ulfcytel and the Defence of East Anglia

with Dr Lucy Marten

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 6th October, 2007

A day exploring the largely untold story of the heroic and ultimately tragic defence of East Anglia and England by a man called Ulfcytel.

The quality of Ulfcytel’s military leadership is clear from the account in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of the great raid on East Anglia by the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard in 1004. Sweyn had attacked and burnt Norwich and then Thetford and was returning to his fleet when he was met by Ulfcytel and his army at Ringmere on Wretham Heath north of Thetford. A hard battle followed and, although Ulfcytel could not prevent the Danes from getting back their ships, he earned their respect that day. As the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states,

As they themselves said, they never worse hand fighting
in England met than Ulfcytel to them brought
.

Ulfcytel is also remembered as Ulfkell Snillingr [‘Ulfcytel the Valiant’] in Scandinavian saga sources, where East Anglia was known as ‘Ulfkell’s Land’.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us further that Ulfcytel fought and lost another battle at Ringmere [Rymer] south of Thetford in 1010, and that he met his death at the Battle of Assandun in 1016, when all England finally fell to Danish rule under Sweyn’s son Cnut.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The Return of the Danes and the Battle of Maldon  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.30 Ulfcytel and the Battle of North Ringmere  
  12.30 Lunch break  
  14:00 The Battle of South Ringmere and the Triumph of Sweyn Forkbeard  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Ulfcytel and the Battle of Assandun  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Lucy Marten

Having successfully completed her doctoral thesis on ‘Land and Lordship in Tenth and Eleventh-Century Suffolk’, Lucy now holds a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of East Anglia to study the writing of Domesday Book and is also working on a book covering this period of Suffolk’s history.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Backhouse, J. (ed.), The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art (British Museum, 1984)
Campbell, J., The Anglo-Saxons (Phaidon 1982)
Garmonsway, G., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dent 1953, 1975).
Hart, C., The Danelaw (Hambledon 1991)
Howard, I., Swein Forkbeard's Invasions and the Danish Conquest of England, 991-1017 (Boydell & Brewer 2003)
Jones, G., A History of the Vikings (2nd Edition, Oxford 1984)
Lawson, M. K., Cnut, The Danes in England in the Early Eleventh Century, The Medieval World Series (Longman 1994)
Magnusson, Magnus, The Vikings (rev.ed. Tempus 2000)
Rumble, A. (ed.), The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway, Studies in the Early History of Britain Series, 10-26 (Leicester 1994)
Swanton, M., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Phoenix 2000)

Bookings

Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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We have learnt of the fame of the Wuffing folk-lords of long ago, of how those wolf-kings held the ancestral land of East Anglia....
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